This time last year we launched the Friend-Ship project to reclaim the importance of friendship. Before anything else, we needed to define the meaning of friendship. To this end, we approached Londoners with a burning question before taking their portrait:
What does friendship mean to you?
"My friends helped me out so much and I feel they make me a better person. I totally feel like they are the most important thing to me," said Daniel Moloney as he looked into the camera.
Daniel's portrait became centerpiece at the Friend-Ship portrait exhibition held at London City Hall for World Mental Health Day 2019 (cover photo).
Then, a few months later COVID-19 struck and the world went into lockdown. A situation of unparalleled proportions in which friends really became our lifeline. As a charity, we realised how important family and friends were to help vulnerable people through such challenging times. Many people became dependent on one another to keep them going, emotionally or otherwise. There were however many less fortunate people who suffered from social isolation for a variety of reasons. It is not yet known how many took their own life because of the added stresses caused by lockdown restrictions.
It is for this reason that in 2020 Youmanity decided that Friend-Ship would become the theme of the annual photography contest: Friend-Ship Screenshot Competition. In a nutshell, this is a suicide prevention project that celebrates friends to recover the value of friendship.
With this in mind, KeolisAmey Docklands adopted the Friend-Ship project to mark World Mental Health Day 2020. Our Friend-Ship marketing material was showcased on the entire DLR network (see gallery).
Now more than ever, we need to be able to rely on family and friends as the medical profession, scientists from around the world, work around the clock to stop this complex pandemic. Until then, take care of yourself and ... don't forget to reach out to family, friends and neighbours. Kindness too saves lives.
Join our team of friendly volunteers or, if you have a project in mind, get in touch.
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How to help
All cash donations are invested in projects that aim to encourage a cultural dialogue between communities and countries worldwide.